Friday, June 10, 2016

Grigor Gorgrivich: Now It Can Be Told

Grigor, possibly reflecting on his ways while in the big house ...

Looking back, you have to give it up for world-class henchman Grigor Gorgrivich.

Over his "career", constant employer changes meant the dude had to be adaptable, willing and able to conform to the quirks and kinks of a different bad guy boss on the drop. That meant he had to switch gears often, sometimes weekly. That takes some doing.

Grigor and one of his many employers ...

Henchmen, by nature, are the work horses of the ne'er-do-well set. They're subject to demeaning, menial, sometimes back-breaking (literally) chores doled out by their bosses with little to no credit for their efforts.

And yet, through it all, he was the consummate professional.

Typical henchman stuff ...

As my colleagues Clark and Jeff have noted, it's a rough gig. And, given the many run ins we've had over the years with Grigor, how could we not show up at his farewell shindig? It's not as if something like that comes up often, you know.

So it was with honest, sincere wishes we three attended Grigor's event and celebrated his many and varied accomplishments along with his fellow coadjutants. (Note: The sad thing about the affair? While a majority of his fellow associates were present, not one of his past employer could be troubled to show up. What a bunch of uncaring bastards.)

And now that all is said and done, I'm able to divulge a little secret I've harbored over the years from everyone. Something I'm not ashamed to admit but was better left unsaid at the time. I thought it best to keep it on the downlow, even from my fellow Unbelievables.

Grigor Gorgrivich was a good friend of mine. And we shared a covert association outside our "work" as good guy / bad guy.

Jeff and Clark restrain Grigor
during one of his many confrontations with The Unbelievables

It was the aftermath of a rather brutal tussle involving The Unbelievables and a rather large contingent of henchmen, Grigor included. (I don't recall who he was working for at the time - his constant employer-switching leave me unaware who was calling the shots at the time.) The scene was a mess: Subordinates, helpers, aides, lackeys and body guards were piled up in a mound post-ass beating, complete with plenty of scrapes and bruises, the air hanging heavy with the sound of moans and groans. "Another fine job, gents," Clark commented. "Let's let the police handle the mop up details," Jeff offered. As they took off, I stayed back and sidled up to Grigor who was lying on the ground, beaten to a pulp, and I talked with him plainly as he lay prone on the ground:

"You know, Grigor, I like you. Enough to offer you this: This henchman thing? It isn't for everybody, as you can well see. But you? You're good at what you do. And I appreciate that, especially when it comes to your loyalty to your bosses, whoever that may be currently. I just wanted you to know that. See you in three to six months on good behavior."

I guess that little chat struck a cord because not a few weeks later I got a clandestine thank you card from the big galoot, which I'll admit was surprising.

That's when our furtive friendship blossomed outside our respective fields.

"Griggy" and I started getting together for little social events, just he and I. A beer at a quiet pub far outside of town, a bowling night here and there, a refreshing sauna where we chewed the fat and shared a laugh over our respective crafts. We secretly did a 4-day Disney World tour, an Atlantic City weekend and, once, a houseboat fishing trip down in Rosarito not too long ago. Good times, good times.

In the beginning, Griggy wasn't very good with his charms ...

... but with my help he came around.
(Hello, Ladies!)

You can see how this cooperative could lend to raised eyebrows among our respective colleagues, thus the reason our outings were kept closeted.  

A rare snapshot of Grigor and Michael on one of their getaways.
(I'm in disguise, on the right.) 

So it was with a special and personal undertaking I attended Grigor's going away party.

And I'll confess: I had to hold back a tear or two during the bash for Griggy. I knew his "retirement" meant the end of our clandestine ventures.



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